Polk: The Man who Transformed the Presidency and America by Walter R. Borneman (2009)

The title makes Polk sound like a pretty important president, and he kind of was. There was more info on the Mexican War than I thought there would be. The author paints an unflattering picture of James Buchanan, who was Polk’s Secretary of State and the future 15th president. Polk was an effective leader, but he is portrayed as less of a statesman and more of a partisan politician than I wanted to believe he was. This was quite a good presidential biography. The author was fair in his praise and in his criticism of Polk.